Happy Christmas 2.0: 15 things to do online this festive season

Technology has made our lives easier in myriad ways. During this annual jamboree of consumerism, better known as the festive season, technology should come to our rescue. We’ve already done our shopping online, deftly avoiding the chaos of the malls, but how else can the web get us into the Yuletide spirit?

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Memeburn explores some fun ways to enjoy Christmas 2.0 from the comfort of your own PC.

1. Elf Yourself

Now in its fifth successful year, Elf Yourself (from JibJab and sponsored by OfficeMax) allows you to upload up to five headshots of your family, colleagues, pets or friends and turn them into dancefloor demons. You can even pick your dance style from hip-hop to disco and watch those Elves boogie up a snowstorm. The site includes Facebook, Twitter and email integration so you can spread the smiles far and wide. It’s guaranteed to generate Christmas cheer and is definitely our number one pick.

2. Angry Birds – Christmas Edition

Angry Birds is the runaway Number 1 app in the world. Rovis has just released the Christmas Edition. “Season’s Greedings” consists of 25 daily surprises for fans of Angry Birds to enjoy while counting down the days before Christmas. Included in the game is also the 45-level Halloween special edition, now packaged as a separate episode called Trick Or Treat.

3. Simon Sez Santa

Like it sez, simply type in what you want St. Nick to do and he’ll most probably do it. Have fun with the kids trying to guess all the keywords. Hint: You can find a decent list of them here.

4. Gift Profiler

Struggling to think of a gift for a friend or loved one? We know the feeling. Gifts.com has a handy personality profiler and gift suggestions application on their site. Answer a few questions profiling the person and they’ll put together a handy gift suggestion guide. Nifty!

5. NorthPole.com

Everyone knows that Santa is from the North Pole, so this must be his own personal domain. There’s literally hundreds of cool Christmas things to do on this site, so listing them would be tedious. Go and check it out. If for some weird reason you can’t find enough Christmas stuff here, then try out SantaClaus.Net too.

6. Portable North Pole

One of the best sites we’ve seen for the kids (and grown ups too) this Christmas. You can create a personalised video from Santa by following the easy steps. If you’ve got kids, nieces, nephews, god-children or even for yourself then we can not recommend this site enough.

7. Lingerie Christmas Videos

Warning, possibly NSFW! This one’s for the guys. Lingerie-themed Christmas videos. Or is that Christmas-themed lingerie videos? Ultimo Lingerie have brought out a video featuring Brazilian supermodel Raica Oliveira. Ladies, if you want to hint at lingerie this Christmas then perhaps send your man this not-so-subtle suggestion. Not to be out done, La Senza introduces the cup-size choir. Brilliant!

8. NORAD Santa

Track Santa with Google and NORAD. It even features a Google Earth plug-in, a mobile app and you can follow him on Twitter.

9. Email Santa

Send Santa an email and get a personalised email back from him. Although it looks like Santa hasn’t updated his site since 1993.

10. Augmented Reality Santa App

Take a pic of your Christmas Tree and you can show your kids Santa coming to visit. This is a great Christmas app. Get it here on iTunes.

11. Send a 3D Card

This one looks amazing, but it’s a bit too technical for us. It’s apparently a 3D geo-location card from a company called Muzar and you need an iPhone or Android phone using their Layar 3.0+ app. If you can figure it out then please give us a shout and tell us how/if it works. Details in the title link and send it from here.

12. Santabot

Quite cool. But it’s a bot after all. Santa can come across as if he’s been putting something funny in his pipe. Keep the questions Christmas-related if you’re gonna try this one with the kids, but remember it’s a Santabot.

13. The Jelly Bean Factory – Live Santa Stream

The Jelly Bean Factory had Santa streaming live on Facebook from their headquarters (December 15). Pity we missed it, but what a fantastic marketing idea for Christmas? During the Six-hour Santathon, you could talk to the Big Man himself, share your favourite Christmas moments, enter a host of festive competitions and get the chance to win loads juicy jelly beans. Santa also asked for help in creating the Ultimate Jelly Bean Flavour for a chance to win prizes.

14. Grolsch Christmas Video

Visit Grolsch to send friends a personalised email version of this video. Grolsch & the Swingtop Philharmonic Orchestra present a ‘video Christmas card’ featuring a rendition of the classic carol ‘Oh, Christmas Tree’ played exclusively on instruments crafted from Grolsch Swingtop bottles.

15. Gifts4Good

Last, but certainly not least! Why not forego the consumerist orgy this Christmas and give a gift that really epitomises the spirit of Christmas? Gifts4Good is a local site that allows you to support assessed development projects working to end poverty in South Africa. Choose gift, customise e-card, checkout and change lives.

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